Day Eight of Orca in Switzerland – Herded like Cattle

By | 23 March 2020

Today I was herded like cattle at the shops and walked along the edge of a field I had never walked along before.

At the shops they put tape up, like a maze to force people to walk a certain circuitous route. The circuitous route would be fascinating if the shops were full but they weren’t so it was a hindrance. The issue is not walking. I love walking. The issue is that you get stuck behind people and people then get in closer proximity within the shops. It’s impossible not to with so many blind corners and alleys.

Some of the aisles are still empty. No sauces for those who know how to heat, but not prepare food for example. Sell by dates are long for most product as a result of how fast they are being sold but paradoxically microwave food is not selling fast. I saw that one meal was just two days from being beyond it’s sell-by-date.

At the moment my motivation to go for walks is declining because so many others are doing the same. As so many people are walking it means that it takes a lot of effort, either to slow down and walk at their pace, or conversely just to choose a different route than usual.

Today’s walk took me along the strip of land between the motorway and fields. It’s a strip along which I would usually never walk, due to the possibility of being told not to walk there, the chance of getting muddy shoes, and because I wasn’t familiar with it.

Today I did walk along this path in an attempt to be as far away from those who do not take socially distancing seriously enough. It worked. I saw two men trimming the vegetation you see in this image but no others. Three hundred meters closer to the week you could see groups of people crossing paths.

Washing hands is essential, and staying home is important but going for walks and getting some daylight is important and so is respecting the two-meter rule. If contagion continues, because people don’t follow the rules then the rules will be tightened. Today in Mulhouse they have a curfew from 2100-0600. The less seriously people take measures, the more restrictions will be put on us.

I’m thinking of going to a different shopping center, rather than go through today’s experience again. I think I was shocked. By shocked, I don’t mean surprised. I mean that I had a physiological and psychological response.

Usually, I wouldn’t be this open but I see this series as blogs as a documenting of life during the pandemic. It will be interesting for future historians, i.e. our nieces and nephews to read about how we felt about the experience.

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